Tinubu’s Worrisome Mumbo Jumbo

By Casmir Igbokwe

Since the campaign for the 2023 presidential election started last September, I have soaked myself in sorrowful laughter. What with the jibes campaign spokespersons like Dino Melaye, Festus Keyamo and Femi Fani-Kayode throw at their opponents. The gaffes by the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, have added spice to the campaigns. At the recent flag-off of his campaign in Plateau State, for instance, he prayed God to bless PDAPC. Recently too, he reportedly declared that the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, would be the governor of Niger Delta State. While we were trying to locate where Niger Delta state is, he misspoke at the APC presidential rally in Lagos last Saturday. According to him, those who love him should “go and get your APV, APC and you must vote.” Apparently, he meant to say PVC (Permanent Voter Cards). Although Tinubu’s frequent mumbo jumbo is amusing, it is becoming increasingly worrisome.

His outing at Ebonyi APC presidential rally last Thursday was no less dramatic. Circulating on the social media is a picture showing a man stylishly standing like a pillar behind him while he was speaking. It was ostensibly to prevent him from falling or shaking. Then, he goofed by promising to turn the South-East of Nigeria into the Taiwan of Asia instead of Africa. “All of you will bear testimony of the change we have contributed. APC is the only progressive party that can bring progress. Nothing succeeds like a team that is unbreakable. We will move Nigeria forward. We will do the right thing. We will make South-East Nigeria the Taiwan of Asia,” he partly said.

This Ebonyi declaration contradicted the picture the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, painted about Tinubu’s impression of the South-East. Lawal alleged recently that the former Lagos State Governor said, during the campaign for the primary election, that campaigning in the South-East was a waste of time and money. “During the convention, he didn’t even allow us go to the South-East,” Lawal told Channels Television’s Politics Today. It was during the run-up to the convention that he also claimed it was his turn (Emi lokan) to be president of Nigeria.

What has the South-East not seen with some of these presidential candidates? The other day, it was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who insulted the zone with a promise to hand over to an Igbo man after his tenure if voted into office in 2023.

Prior to the 2015 election, the APC and its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, had made a lot of other promises to Nigerians. They pledged to engender restructuring, tackle corruption and insecurity as well as fix our bad economy. In fact, they promised us ‘change’!

Unfortunately, the change we have experienced is akin to the newly redesigned naira notes – a whitewash. Insecurity has worsened. Corruption is as endemic as ever. Even the economy has been raped by inflation, recession and high debt.

Nevertheless, it’s possible that Tinubu has experienced genuine change and that his party can now be trusted. The snag, though, is his inclination to dodge almost every invitation for interview or debate that could have afforded Nigerians the opportunity to assess him. He failed to attend the recent presidential debate organised by Arise TV. We have not also seen him at the Nigerian Guild of Editors Forum in Lagos. It was Atiku who first appeared at the forum. He impressed the editors and other Nigerians with his presentation, especially in the area of restructuring. After Atiku, came the Presidential candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. He too was brilliant in his presentation. He reeled out his exploits, especially in the education sector when he was governor of Kano State. Dismissing reports that he was primed to step down for Atiku, Kwankwaso said he was in the race to win.

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, as usual, wowed the audience with his brilliance, eloquence and humour. The editors were so impressed by the way he answered questions that they gave him a standing ovation. The atmosphere was quite enriching and interesting. Obi, more than any other candidate, has visited and talked to many groups on his ambition.

This is how it should be. Candidates seeking any political office must talk to the people they want to serve. This is where I have problem with Tinubu. He remains the only one among the three leading candidates who has shied away from engaging in robust interaction with Nigerians.

The one he attended, he messed it up with his incoherent answers. At an interactive session organized by the Arewa Joint Committee in Kaduna last October, he described climate change as “a question of how do you prevent a church rat from eating a poisoned Holy Communion…” In a bid to praise Governor Nasir el-Rufai at a business summit in the same Kaduna in October, he said el-Rufai had the vision, creativity and resiliency in turning a rotten situation into a bad one. This same Tinubu had proposed recruiting 50 million Nigerians into the security agencies as a way of combating insecurity. Though he later clarified that he meant to say 50,000, he had no clarification on his alleged statement that the permanent voter cards (PVCs) had expiry dates.

Tinubu must be watched closely. We must ensure that before he even gets to power not to talk of fulfilling his promise of turning South-East into Taiwan, he needs to convince Nigerians that he is physically and mentally fit for the job of a president. He needs to open up more to people. He needs to debunk all the allegations regarding his questionable certificates, opaque sources of income, origin, job history and drug-related issues with verifiable evidence. He needs to explain to Nigerians what he meant by “Balabloo-blu-bulava” which he reportedly said in Owerri recently. Or, has he received the gift of speaking in tongues? Please Asiwaju, many Nigerians yearn for an interactive session with you. They need to be sure that if you become president, Nigeria will not sink deeper into oblivion. We are anxiously waiting for a positive answer.

 

Re: Obi and heroes of the revolution to change Nigeria

Dear Casy, have you watched Obi-Datti squad as they speak on television? You would see, in the duo, everything our dear country, Nigeria, needs to disentangle her from the asphyxiating, heartless and selfishly vicious ‘ikili’ grip of the haughty but clueless old order. To mention, but a few, you would see, in the said duo, the youthful and intellectual vivacity needed to pull the country out of the current dungeon and redirect her towards economic and social eldorado. You would, also, see in them, bonding that engenders mutual understanding and peace needed for governance. Casy, in counting the heroes of the Obi-Datti movement, you forgot to, first of all, count God almighty, who initiated the whole process by blocking the ears and blinding the eyes of the front liners of the two self-acclaimed frontline political parties when, like the  biblical Pharaoh, they refused to heed advice or see the evil in their ambition such that one publicly retorted that it was his turn and the other threw his cash-driven weight into their party and dazed their party into ‘speaking in tongues’ about zoning. Hence, the chickens scattered the ‘okpensi’ (symbol of worship) of their party, resulting in instability in their party today!

-Steve Okoye, Awka, 08036630731.

 

Nigeria is still in the process of becoming a nation. The process started before Independence but was truncated when the consciousness of ethnicity was awakened or born between 1950 and 1952.Then, Zik and the Zikists Movement were the real issues of Nigerian politics. But along the line, the Zik revolution was observed to be for a people that were not yet ready for it. The June 12, 1993 ‘Change’ of MKO Abiola presented yet another opportunity for Nigeria to evolve to a great nation. Again, the forces of darkness were at work. The June 12 National Appeal was killed. From the outset of the second coming of President Muhammadu Buhari till the twilight of his regime, Nigeria has remained so embarrassingly and dangerously divided on ethnic grounds. Having not allowed the process of nationhood to assume a sound footing or evolve to an extent where a president would emerge without our questioning where he or she comes from, it is unthinkable and undeserving that Atiku whose Fulani brother is about to round off his two-term presidency is also warming up for the same seat for another two-term, even as a zone down South is yet to take a shot at it since 1999 till date. The fact that Obasanjo has already taken a record two-term under a suspicious circumstance of ‘the man we can trust’, and that Osibanjo currently enjoys a two-term vice-presidency, are what have disturbed the equitable conscience of the like of Chief Ayo Adebanjo and other Nigerians that Nigeria’s 2023 presidential seat be occupied by a credible Nigerian of South East descent. Peter Obi is willing, capable, ready and has answered the clarion call.

-Edet Essien Esq. Cal. South, +234 810 809 5633

 

Dear Casmir, Peter Obi has come to end cash and carry politics. He’s to kill lion with bare hands, revolutionize our country and free us from the rule of the thugs.

Cletus Frenchman Enugu, +234 909 538 5215

 

Dear Casmir, I think you have done well to recognise and appreciate a few individuals and groups who have demonstrated commendable courage in their support for Mr. Peter Obi’s presidency. It’s an idea whose time has come. I’m in particular impressed with Pa Adebanjo, a nonagenarian, who has stood his ground in the face of daunting tackles from the parallel Afenifere group, and insisted on fairness, equity and justice in choosing Peter Obi. I wish this uncommon show of principles and patriotism by Pa Adebanjo and the others you mentioned above will inspire our youths, irrespective of their region, religion, ethnicity, social and political leanings to vote with their conscience. They must resist the enticement of filthy lucre from these money bags and oldies to help vote in Peter Obi and entrench a new Nigeria we all crave for.
-Onyejaka Alex Arinze, ariwaotiokpo1980@yahoo.com

 

If Nigerians fail to do the needful in 2023 general election by electing Peter Obi as next president of Nigeria, it means God created Nigerians to suffer. Nigerians, please vote wisely to avoid suffering in 2023 and beyond.

-Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, +234 916 510 7900

 

Casmir, the revolution to move Nigeria from the negative change that APC has served us since 2015 to a positive change is on! Everyone that is involved in ‘changing the change’ deserves commendation. I hereby invite more electorate to help stop Tinubu in 2023 by joining this moving train. For me, it is any other top party but APC; because of Tinubu’s intransigence in promoting disunity to satisfy his ego! His selfishness has a hidden agenda. He plans to elevate one religion above the other! He copied MKO Abiola’s Muslim-Muslim ticket, copied his Hope 93 manifesto in Renewed Hope 2023 manifesto; but shies away from engaging in debates like Abiola did. He is a ‘bad photocopy of MKO Abiola’. Tinubu is a conservative pretending to be a progressive!

-Mike, Mushin, Lagos, +234 816 111 4572  

  • Also published in the Daily Sun of Monday, November 28, 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*